Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Millennium Campaign Director Discusses Failing Economy

In January, BBC Hardtalk interviewed Salil Shetty, the director of the UN Millennium Campaign. The director discussed the current economic situation and its effects on impoverished countries, challenging rich countries to take responsibility for the crisis:
"I think even if one person is hungry in the world today that should be unacceptable, given the prosperity we have … We need to disaggregate analysis when we talk about issues. The fact is that only seven countries in the world account for two-thirds of the hungry people in the world: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, [the Democratic Republic of the Congo] and Ethiopia. We actually today have as many obese people in the world as we have hungry people. So there’s no shortage of food. It’s just a question of distribution… Inequality is a big, big cause of hunger today.... We've spent $1,300 billion last year on arms … So if we can spend that kind of money on wars, why can’t we spend $35 billion to help achieve the … Millennium Development Goals? … It’s not a matter of not having the resources, it’s a matter of having the political will."
Read the interview here.